3 Nutrients That Support a Healthy Brain
3 Nutrients That Support a Healthy Brain

Science

3 Nutrients That Support a Healthy Brain

2 min read

Essential Takeaways

  • Taking a food-first approach to supporting your brain health is definitely a great idea.
  • That said, your diet might have certain shortfalls when it comes to meeting your nutrient levels. So let's get specific about the vitamins that can help out with supporting brain health, and which nutrients are worth looking for in your multivitamin.

There’s no question that giving your brain the nutritional support it needs is a great idea. And while you can certainly get some of that from a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other nutrient-dense foods, to ultimately support brain health, you may also want to consider supplementing your diet with vitamins that provide extra help.

But to be more specific, what nutrients should you be looking for when choosing vitamins that may support brain health?

Folate

Folate is part of the B vitamin family. From a dietary perspective, you can find folate in foods like yeast; dark, leafy vegetables (like spinach); and fresh fruits. But because folate can be negatively impacted during the prep and cooking process, even a healthy diet full of folate-rich foods might not always cover folate needs—which is where folate dietary supplements come in.

Research has found that folate supplementation may play an important role in the metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid that can have an impact on brain health. (1). To this end, a recent study linked a supportive effect to those supplementing with B-vitamins (including folate) compared to a placebo (2).

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B12

Speaking of B vitamins, there’s another vitamin in the B family that may support brain health—and that’s B12.

B12 plays a crucial role in the development of myelin (3), a protein that acts as a protective sheath for neurons and other nerve cells, helping to support nerve-impulse transmission (which is a fancy way of describing how your nerves communicate with one another).

Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are highly concentrated in the brain. And because of that, it makes sense that they’d also be involved in supporting brain health.

Folate, Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 are key nutrients in supporting brain health. Ritual’s Essential for Women multivitamin includes them all, along with six additional nutrients (magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, boron, Vitamin K2, and iron) to support overall health and help fill nutrient gaps in your diet.*

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

References:

  1. Ballenger, J. (2008). Effect of 3-year folic acid supplementation on cognitive function in older adults in the FACIT trial: a randomised, double blind, controlled trial. Yearbook of Psychiatry and Applied Mental Health, 2008, 288–289. doi: 10.1016/s0084-3970(08)70862-4
  2. Brodaty, H. (2010). Faculty of 1000 evaluation for Homocysteine-lowering by B vitamins slows the rate of accelerated brain atrophy in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial. F1000 - Post-Publication Peer Review of the Biomedical Literature. doi: 10.3410/f.5255959.5197058
  3. SF Gate. (2018, December 17. What Is The Function of B12 In The Production Of Myelin? Retrieved from: SF Gate

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